THIS CRAZYFLY ELITE III REVIEW CAN BE READ IN KITEWORLD #111, OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM, PUBLISHED IN JULY 2021
CRAZYFLY FOIL TEST
“Essentially this is a set-up that’s smooth and accessible but also offers a decent cruising speed, too.”
TESTED BY JIM GAUNT
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Essentially this is a set-up that’s smooth and accessible but also offers a decent cruising speed, too.
We’ve had a go on three different CrazyFly front wings now – the 690 Cruz which we tested here, and the two new 1000 and 1200 front wings (both working with the existing Cruz mast / fuselage / rear wing package).
The 1200 is our pick when it comes to delivering a rounded beginner / early intermediate experience.
Our other recommendation for success for most inexperienced foilers is this bigger version of the F-Lite board. CrazyFly make several models of super aspirational looking small, thin, very light weight foil boards, but the reality is that a lot of them are just too small for many intermediate riders who are riding in choppy sea conditions. Indeed, most board descriptions on their website rightly state that the boards are for intermediate to advanced riders, however, the exception here we believe is this F-Lite 130.
This video shows Kiteworld Editor Jim Gaunt taking the CrazyFly F-Lite 130 and Cruz 1200 Wing for first runs and impressions
LIGHT… WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE:
The F-Lite 130 is very thin and considered a low volume board, but with the light weight aluminium mast and carbon foils, sits very nicely on its side in the board start position. There’s no fighting to stop the mast dropping to a more vertical position which can sometimes happen with small boards and aluminium masts that are heavier.
CrazyFly’s ‘aircraft’ grade aluminium alloy parts in the mast and fuselage we have to say are quite unique in their design, being noticeably lighter than other aluminium designs. At this entry / intermediate level, there’s no sacrifice in performance in going for aluminium strength rather than carbon stiffness and there’s not a huge amount of weight difference. It’s clearly well designed and, when combined with lightweight full carbon front wing and injected carbon 220 rear wing, the F-Lite board, which weighs just 2.9 kilos, is a remarkably lightweight and un-cumbersome package for new and early intermediate foilers.
Crucially, thanks to CrazyFly’s expertise in designing carbon twin-tips, the similar approach in the F-Lite mean that for a 130 x 46, it’s incredibly light and contributes an astonishing weight saving in the overall package. Considering we were using an aluminium mast and fuselage, the CrazyFly set-up is very easy to carry up and down the beach, into and out of the water, even if you have a long walk out to foiling depth at low tide.
The F-Lite is impressive in what it achieves. A long nose with a generous rocker at the tip effortlessly repels water on touch down and promotes you staying on the board and remaining stable. Despite its thin design, CrazyFly have still managed to design the F-Lite with a concave deck for good foot control. Along with the slightly curved rails on the underside, this is a reliable platform on touchdowns for foot swapping, too. Finishing off the job, there are also inserts for three footstraps.
The F-Lite feels bigger than a 130, and also rides with the forgiveness of a board greater than that size, too. Contributing to that sensation is the footpad position that finishes far short of the nose. In truth we’d like to see the pad extended a bit further forward for perhaps bigger riders who would ride with the mast in the forward position and may like the option of more grip further forward.
The 1200 and F-Lite 130 do only require quite a narrow stance for balance though; a stance that most beginner – intermediate foilers will feel at home with. We also found that you really don’t need to have perfect foot position with a generous allowance for you to shuffle your feet into the right position before being thrown off. This will also help with some forgiveness when using straps, too.
The initial lift is very progressive for a 1200, not jerky at all, and then also impressively stable if you do get overpowered on your kite. It doesn’t just keep lifting and lifting, but seems to self stabilise once at cruising speed (or at least is intuitive enough to help you learn to stabilise the foil very quickly).
Overall the manoeuvrability in what is essentially a beginner – intermediate wing is a stand out quality. Super smooth, stable with early lift at low speeds are a benefit to all, while for what is quite a big front wing by many kite foil standards, it’s also not difficult to manage in terms of leg fatigue if the wind picks up strongly. Instead, there’s a good feeling of control and freedom to play.
The main thing we notice with all the CrazyFly foil designs is that while everything is very light weight and sleek, the bolts that attach the mast plate to the board are thinner than most other designs. That’s because the boards are relatively thin. As a result there are just three mast position options in the base rather than a track to mount the mast to your board, which we’re seeing preferred by many other manufacturers. I found the middle setting perfectly balanced for me at 70 kilos, though.
The downside of thinner bolts? They’re not as easy to borrow from someone on the beach if you lose one or two, and they need to be quite specific in length so you don’t over-screw through the board. You’ll notice these bolts are a lot thinner and shorter than most other brands but with the whole set-up being very light, there will generally be less stress through the system as a whole.
Overall, no complaints about weight or user friendliness though, just speculation and observation about some differences to what we’ve seen elsewhere.
Of course, if the silent ride quality is anything to go by, everything certainly seems to be soundly designed!
Look after your gear, loosen your bolts each session and regularly rinse your gear with fresh water and… enjoy!
This is really easy foiling that doesn’t compromise a fun riding speed for stability. It’s pleasingly light weight, too!
KW WOULD CHANGE:
A track for the mast in the base of the board allows for more tailored mast positioning, but we appreciate you couldn’t have a board as thin and light as this if you were to add the heft of a reinforced track. It works as it is.
F-LITE SIZES: 130 x 46, 115 x 44 & 99 x 44cm
CRUZ FRONT WING SIZES: 1200, 1000 & 690
Watch the CrazyFly Cruz foil product video here:
THIS CrazyFly Foil TEST REVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED HERE IN ISSUE #111
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